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A man suspected to be an informant of rice smugglers has been killed allegedly by officials of the Nigeria Customs Service in Jigawa State.

Tasiu Muhammad, 22, a resident of Babura Local Government Area, was shot dead at Unguwar Gawo, about five kilometres from Bubara town, the council headquarters.

The police commissioner in Jigawa, Bala Senchi, at a press conference on Tuesday confirmed the incident.

He said the police were not involved in the operation that led to the killing of Mr Muhammad.

Residents said the deceased had been on the wanted list of the NCS for allegedly running local routes for smugglers and informing them on the movement of security officials enforcing the ban of importation of contraband goods through Nigeria’s land borders.

The deceased was reportedly shot dead while attempting to escape arrest, even though he was not in possession of any incriminating evidence, a resident who requested not to be named for security reasons said.

The spokesperson of the NCS in Kano, Jigawa command, Dan-Baba, said he could not speak with the reporter because he was “in a meeting.”

Bubara Local Government Area shares border with Niger Republic. Rice smugglers use bush paths in the area to smuggle banned items into Nigeria.

The Customs boss, Hameed Ali, at a press conference on Monday in Abuja, said all Nigerian land borders will remain shut in continuation of a closure that began in August.

He said the measure is to improve Nigeria’s economic situation and reduce further exploits by neighbouring countries.

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